9 Mar 2024

Political Turmoil Unfolds in Himachal Pradesh as 11 MLAs, Including Rebel Congress Members, Seek Refuge in Uttarakhand

Amidst a political crisis in Himachal Pradesh, eleven MLAs, comprising six rebels and three independent representatives, have sought refuge in Uttarakhand, a state ruled by the BJP. The move indicates internal strife within the state Congress.

The group, arriving in a heavily guarded bus with Haryana's number plate, reached Taj Hotel in Rishikesh on Saturday. This development occurred just two days after Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu visited Delhi to confer with top Congress leaders, reportedly discussing recent political developments in the state and preparations for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.

The six rebel MLAs, including Sudhir Sharma, Rajinder Rana, Davinder K Bhutto, Ravi Thakur, Chaitanya Sharma, and Inder Dutt Lakhanpal, faced disqualification from the Assembly under the anti-defection law. Following the 2022 Assembly elections, the Congress held 40 MLAs, while the BJP had 25 in the 68-member state assembly, with the remaining three seats held by independents.

These rebel legislators have previously cross-voted in the Rajya Sabha polls, contributing to the BJP securing additional votes in the recent election. When asked about contact with the rebel MLAs, Sukhu emphasized his focus on the welfare of the people, stating that none of the MLAs had reached out to him.

Sukhu Accuses BJP of Attempting To Topple Govt

Meanwhile, CM Sukhu accused the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) of attempting to topple his government by keeping the rebel Congress MLAs under the strict security cover of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF). He claimed that the family members of the rebel MLAs were pressuring them to return to their home state.

"I have learned through social media that the rebel MLAs were taken away from the hotel in Panchkula, and a charter plane flew from Chandigarh airport. I don't know where it will land. This is because their family members were putting pressure on them to return," Sukhu expressed.

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